The Debate: England Reds backed to continue shining

Tuesday 22 November 2022 16:04

This week’s episode of The Debate features former Red Wes Brown and Rowetta from the Happy Mondays chewing the fat with host Liam Bradford.

Filmed at a special adidas Spezial event in the heart of Manchester, our panel discussed Alejandro Garnacho’s Player of the Month award, Christian Eriksen and United legend Eric Cantona – ahead of the upcoming 30th anniversary of his transfer to the club.

In addition to the above topics, Wes and Rowetta offered their opinions on the performances of our England trio Harry Maguire, Marcus Rashford and Luke Shaw in the Three Lions’ 6-2 World Cup win over Iran.

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Which United nation could win the World Cup?

The Debate | Monday afternoon's episode from an adidas Spezial event is a top watch, dissecting our World Cup Reds and more...

“The first game can always be a bit tricky and yes, it was Iran, we were supposed to win, but it was a great performance,” said Wes.

“Luke Shaw [did well], Rashford came on, [and took] three touches before he scored and Harry Maguire [was also] having a good game. I know he came off with concussion, but it was a great start for the team and the lads did really well and did us proud.”

Brown continued, highlighting the impact Maguire had for Gareth Southgate’s side prior to his substitution.

“He hit the crossbar. You know he’s going to win most duels in the air. He does that anyway, it’s one of his strong points.

“I don’t think there’s a problem with [the lack of a warm-up match], we’re in the middle of November. The lads will all be fit and ready to go. They know what they have to do, and I think it’s not that we got lucky, but to play Iran first was very good for us as well.”

Rowetta singled out a different Red for praise, applauding Rashford’s influence on and off the pitch.

One goal and two assists for England Reds


Marcus Rashford, Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw all played a big part in England’s win over Iran.

“I love that everyone is talking about Rashford, [it’s] brilliant,” she said. “I love him anyway; he’s had a hard time over the last few years. And I don’t watch loads of England games, I have to be honest. I’m very much United. I don’t get time for other football games; I like to go and watch it at Old Trafford.

“But when our stars shine and they’re back, after they’ve been slated in the past, I’m proud. Because he’s been playing a lot better this year and he’s back and watch out, because he is [superb] – as long as he stays at United forever! He’s Manchester born and bred. They’re the players that I love at United: those who love Manchester, love United and want to make us proud.

“What an inspiration to young Black kids [as well] – well, young kids from anywhere – but especially from Manchester. He’s a great role model, he never forgets where he’s from and that’s what is the most important thing for me. It’s not just that he does good for the children of this country; he’s great for football, great for United.”

Rashford buries ghosts of Euro 2020


The forward scored his first World Cup goal in England's 6-2 win over Iran, just 49 seconds after coming on.

England’s next group-stage match is on Friday, against the USA (19:00 GMT). Following the States' 1-1 draw with Wales in the opening fixture, Brown is wary of the threat they can pose, but expects our Reds to star once more.

“I watched that game... 1-1,” he said. “You could see that they’re probably better opponents [than Iran] and stronger. Luke [Shaw] has probably not got much contest at the moment, but he went out in the game full spirit and very confident, and played well.

“Southgate’s got a little bit of a problem with Rashford coming on. [He took] a couple of touches and goal. [He looked] very sharp and very quick as soon as he came on. We’ve got so many fantastic options in midfield and up front that he’s going to change it at some point, to be fair.

“As soon as Rashford comes on and does that, if he’s in form and he’s flying the manager has got to start thinking about starting him from the beginning.”